Golf Rankings for Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tiger Woods [Yahoo Class C]
Just when it appeared Woods was on a verge of regaining championship level form with a share of second at The Honda Classic, he would need to withdraw the following week at Doral with an Achilles injury. Thankfully Woods recovered quickly and is competing in the Tavistock Cup without a noticeable limp. At Bay Hill, Tiger has won six times, most recently in 2008 and 09. Woods currently ranks second in scoring average and sits first in both total driving and All-Around Ranking.
Justin Rose [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #7
In addition to finishing a career-best T3 at Bay Hill last year, Rose has been playing excellent golf over the last month. After finishing T13 at Riviera, Rose landed a T5 at The Honda Classic and won the next week at Doral. Rose is third in scoring average and eighth in All-Around Ranking.
Hunter Mahan [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #76
Since finishing T6 in 2008, Mahan’s finish at Bay Hill has declined year after year from T22 to T25 to T38 last year. This season Mahan has played in five events, winning the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and finishing inside the top-25 in all his stroke play tournaments. Mahan places second in total driving, 13th in birdie average and 17th in All-Around Ranking.
Sergio Garcia [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #12
After taking two years off from playing at Bay Hill, Garcia finished with a solo eighth last year. Garcia opened his stateside schedule with a T4 at Riviera after finishing near the bottom of the field at Doral following a disastrous final round. However, he bounced right back last week with a T16 at Copperhead. Garcia sits fifth in stroke gained – putting and 18th in All-Around Ranking.
Bubba Watson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #5
In his last four stroke play events, Watson has recorded a pair of top-fives and finished no worse than 13th. He took a week off following a solo second at Doral after starting the final round with the lead. After missing two straight cuts at Bay Hill, Watson finished T24 at the site last year, but is playing well enough to expect much more.
Bo Van Pelt [Yahoo Class C]
With four straight top-10s in stroke play events, Van Pelt continues to rattle off consistent results. BVP now sits third in both strokes gained – putting and birdie average. He’s also fifth in total driving and fourth in All-Around Ranking. Van Pelt has finished T30 and T14 in the last two events at Bay Hill.
Phil Mickelson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #31
Timing does not appear to be ideal for Mickelson this week. After winning at Pebble Beach and earning a share of second the following week at Riviera, Lefty finished with a disappointing T43 in his most recent start at Doral. Since 2007, Mickelson has made four starts at Bay Hill with an average finish of 27.8, while failing to record a top-20 finish. Phil did finish solo second at the site in 2001 and T3 the next year, so a strong finish is still very possible.
Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #74
After finishing a career-best T11 at Bay Hill in 2009, Simpson has failed to make the cut in the two events played since the course was redesigned. In five stroke play events this season, Simpson has one top-five and three top-10s, including last week at Copperhead. Simpson ranks second in birdie average, 10th in greens in regulation percentage and 16th in scoring average.
Bill Haas [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #41
Prior to finishing T29 at Doral, Haas collected three straight finishes inside the top-20 in stroke play events. That run was highlighted by a win at Riviera and a top-five at Torrey Pines. Haas finished T17 at Bay Hill in 2010, but missed the cut a year ago, one of only four cuts he missed all season.
Jim Furyk [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #9
Coming off a playoff defeat at Copperhead, Furyk heads to Bay Hill where he owns two straight top-11 finishes. Earlier in the season Furyk finished T11 at Riviera, but struggled at Pebble Beach and missed the cut at The Honda Classic. Despite the inconsistent finishes, Furyk is coming off his best finish since winning the 2010 TOUR Championship and clearly has Bay Hill figured out.
Jeff Overton [Yahoo Class C]
After finishing sixth in FedExCup points during the 2010 regular season and landing a spot on the American Ryder Cup team, Overton struggled for much of 2011. He could be back in business following three straight finishes inside the top-20, including a T5 last week at Copperhead. Overton missed the cut at Bay Hill last year, but is playing like a different golfer right now.
Graeme McDowell [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #64
McDowell makes his third stateside start this week with a lot of momentum on his side. The Irishman left The Honda Classic with a T9 before collecting a T13 at Doral. While McDowell has missed two straight cuts at Bay Hill, he’s playing well enough to consider backing.
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